HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaiian Airlines Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), today voted 99.9 percent to authorize a strike, with 95.1 percent participating.
“This historic strike vote takes our contract fight to an entirely new level. Hawaiian Flight Attendants are sending an emphatic message to management: Delay is not acceptable; we demand the contract we deserve because we earn it every day. We are safety professionals, and management must acknowledge our worth. Hawaiian is profitable and the time has come for Flight Attendants to share in what we have helped create,” said AFA Master Executive Council President, Sharon Soper.
Hawaiian Flight Attendants are paid less than their counterparts in the industry, yet they are based in the most expensive cities in the United States and are renowned for their safety record and level of service.
Negotiations began in January 2017 and are overseen by the National Mediation Board (NMB). Lack of progress could lead to the NMB declaring that negotiations are deadlocked and releasing both parties into a 30-day “cooling off” period leading to a strike deadline. AFA has a trademarked strike strategy known as CHAOS or Create Havoc Around Our System™. With CHAOS, a strike could affect the entire system or a single flight. The union decides when, where, and how to strike without notice to management or passengers.
Hawaiian Airlines released this statement:
A strike is illegal until the National Mediation Board releases both parties from mediation and a cooling off period expires, neither of which has occurred. Having said that, we understand what this vote symbolizes, and we share the sentiment of frustration with the slow pace of these negotiations that it conveys.
There is no doubt that our flight attendants deliver the best hospitality in the industry, and we are determined to reach an agreement that recognizes their contributions to our success with increases in compensation while ensuring that our company can remain competitive and continue to grow. We have been working with a federal mediator for a year now and we remain committed to reaching an agreement through good faith negotiations under the mediator’s guidance. ”
Hawaiian Flight Attendants have picketed at Honolulu and LAX airports over the last six months. Hawaiian pilots negotiated a new contract in 2017, but Flight Attendants still face labor unrest.